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South Africa Mines Minister Signals Opposition to BHP-Anglo Deal

South Africa Mines Minister Signals Opposition to BHP-Anglo Deal

South African Mines Minister Gwede Mantashe signaled his opposition to BHP Group Ltd.’s proposed takeover of Anglo American Plc.

The offer by the world’s largest miner envisages an all-share deal in which Anglo American would first spin off controlling stakes in South African platinum and iron-ore companies to its shareholders before being acquired by BHP. The proposal values Anglo American at £31.1 billion ($38.8 billion)

“I wouldn’t support it,” Mantashe said by phone on Thursday. “I don’t think Anglo will agree to that. I wouldn’t if I was on the board.”

Read more: BHP Makes $39 Billion Anglo Approach to Create Mining Giant

Anglo American is the fourth-biggest stock in the FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index, with a weighting of 4.3%. The company owns majority stakes in two other South African listed miners — Anglo American Platinum Ltd., or Amplats, and Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. — and South Africa’s state pension fund manager is its biggest shareholder.

The plan to demerge Amplats and Kumba “makes sense” because what BHP really wants is Anglo American’s Latin American copper assets, said Nic Stein, a fund manager at Cape Town-based Coronation Asset Management, which owns about 0.9% of Anglo American. He described BHP’s per-share offer of about £25.08 as “on the light side” and said it was either likely to be raised or other suitors might enter the fray.

South African Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said it was too early to comment on the proposed deal.

“We are not familiar with the nature and details of the deal and its implications for South Africa,” he said in an interview at a briefing in Johannesburg. “I hope their attempt is not to clean, is not to destroy the South African operations.”

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Geoff Coles says:

    If Mantashe doesn’t like it, maybe it’s a great deal.

  • Interested Observer says:

    If only our Minister had any credibility. Who would listen to his views given his track record? What a shame no global miners/investors are interested in investing in SA due to poor governance. They just want the assets without the SA political exposure. Who can blame them?

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